Leaving it to The Kids (To Make Me Keep Loving Eureka SeveN) – Eureka SeveN AO Episode 1

Eureka Seven AO Opening Title

Sequels are a touchy thing. Rarely does one capture the same ‘magic’ as the original. If the audience has created an emotional bond with the story and characters, they are apt to rebel against any change. Eureka Seven is a favorite of both Ghostlightning and myself. There are numerous posts written in this blog to this account. As for me, I was anxious for this new show. I was excited at the prospect of a continuation of the story, but nervous at it’s impact on how I felt about the original. The manga had released 3 chapters, and I snuck a peek to see what was in store. My biggest fear was a repeat of Las Exile Fam Fan. The character Fam had taken a show I loved, and with every scene she appears, brutalizes it with the stupidity of her mindless antics. So, would AO do the same thing?

Eureka Seven Ao and Naru

Eureka 7 AO takes place after a fair amount of time had passed. It appears that earth has been restored to the pre-scub coral landscape.  The world is as one would recognize today, with the land masses where they should be. Early in, we are introduced to Ao and Naru. Two kids that are childhood friends, living on a warm island.  Their friendship has a natural feel to it, and has you interested in them from the start.  You’re not forced into liking them, but gradually begin to be drawn into their story. The writing and directing of their relationship is done well and provides opportunities to gauge their personalities. Even some of the minor characters are done well; were you could insert the typical boss and his bumbling buffoons, you get trio of guys, while cliché, are not the incompetent morons that their character types usually take.

Eureka 7 AO Goon 1

The original episodes were titled against music, and themselves contained a great electronic musical score. AO continues this as well, with a background music score that tailors to the scene and mode, enhancing the experience. During quiet scenes, a string quartet plays a classically inspired melody, while action scenes bring a faster paced, techno beat. The music ebbs and flows with the changing moods of the show. I find this to be a big factor in the experience in watching a show. With many productions, the music is an afterthought. The only emphasis placed on the opening and endings, with little regard to what’s in the middle. It’s good to see Bones put effort into the musical score, tailoring to each scene to enhance the experience.

Eureka 7 AO Backdrop

Along with the music, a fantastic amount of detail is spent on the design and overall ‘art’ of the show. The landscapes of the tropical island are beautiful, and well detailed. During points of action, the detail is maintained, making it pop out from the story. And the CGI inputs during the re-emergence of the scub coral are a nice touch. My only fear here is that this being the first episode, the quality will be significantly higher than the rest of the series. Lets hope Bones didn’t blow the budget in the first episodes, only to leave us watching still frames later in the series.

Eureka 7 AO Bright Lights

As some of asked, is it essential to have watched the original series to enjoy this? In this first episode, no connection is made until the end. A flashback sequence, triggered by a bracelet device reminiscent of the Amita Drive, takes us to Ao’s past. Here we catch a brief glimpse of Eureka with Ao, and with a single word “Mama”, we are instantly given the reference we are searching for, that connection to the original. But a series of questions are generated. Who is Ao’s father? And why did Eureka and Ao go to this island? This leaves you wondering and hoping for answers in coming episodes. In the end, this first episodes in brilliantly done. My fears of a botched sequel have been delayed, at least for one more episode.

Eureka Seven Mother Son Foreshadow


ghostlightning

Unfortunately, I’m going to be needed in this series of posts because a bunch of no-good asshats insist that they become “critics” of every episode. Now I can’t accommodate all of them, and especially every damn week, so I’ll do my best to let the 5 least annoying dopes get their opinions in.

Eureka Seven AO Ep 1 Panel

And yes, I’ve been playing a lot of Super Robot Wars Z lately.

About JoeAnimated

-Growing Older, but never growing up. Father, engineer, and all around nerd. Grew up watching the great american cartoons of the 80's, now a casual watcher of Japanese Anime.
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44 Responses to Leaving it to The Kids (To Make Me Keep Loving Eureka SeveN) – Eureka SeveN AO Episode 1

  1. sadakups says:

    Oh god. Char, just leave Naru alone. Heck, leave this show alone. :P

    I don’t know what to make of the first episode considering that I haven’t seen Eureka Seven in a long time and just like you, I have a lot of questions while I was watching. I was reminded of Fafner with the island setup with monsters attacking and all (speaking of which, have you see that show, ghosty?)

    Trying to make a connection is a little hard for me right now, of course, aside from the obvious of Eureka making an appearance. But of course, that’s just episode 1. Things don’t get explained right away. Still, it was a nice start. There were also the small things the original show had, like the eyecatch, the episode title format and even Ao saying “To be continued” at the end – it’s definitely a throwback to that show. Suffice to say, I had my sights on this show the moment it was announced months ago and I’m definitely taking the ride.

    And oh, I can’t wait to see some sky surfing too, Captain Wilder.

    • sadakups says:

      And I think with regards to the question on who’s Ao’s father, it’s definitely Renton, no doubt about it, considering the resemblance. Heck, we might even see Renton with a bro-stache!

      Oh wait.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Renton would be the obvious choice, but no mention of him yet. But there’s at least 12 episodes to play this out, so it should get quite interesting…

    • Naru reminds Char of Lalah… and even if for only the skin tone, there is a similarity don’t you think?

  2. Tenryu says:

    did anyone watch episode ’0′ or ‘special recap’? taking that into account i think this could be another alternate reality, like the movie. Which i have no problems with since i did like the movie.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      I watched the recap, but since it was subbed in Chinese, other than recognizing some of the scenes, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I actually avoided the movie. Really didn’t feel it was worth the time.

      • Tenryu says:

        i’m one of those weird people who can read 75% Chinese but can’t write or type it(thus why i hang around English based anime blogs) and let me tell you it didn’t make a lot of sense to me either.

    • The movie was horrible… not even Holland firing funnels from the Devilfish(?) was worth seeing the Gekkostate characters I love treated the way they were.

      • Tenryu says:

        i guess i’m the only one who had no problems with the movie. I mean E7 for me will always be about the love story.

      • SQA says:

        If you could accept it was a COMPLETE alt-world story (that, oddly enough, does show up in cannon by 1 scene), like a manga adaptation, then you could enjoy it. It wasn’t great and it really needed Satou around to clean up 2 plot threads, but I did actually like it.

        Plus the last 20 minutes & that ending sequence was well worth the time.

        Oh, and the massive Dominic & Anemone shipping was them apologizing for not giving them more time in the series itself, HAHA.

  3. r042 says:

    Well it was leagues better than the movie – which I did quite like (even fat squeaking wizard Nirvash). The fact it shied away from LOOK ROBOTS WE HAVE THEM and instead was more about a human response to aliens was great to me. One of the best first episodes for some time.

  4. zetatrain says:

    Very good first episode no doubt about that and it makes me really nostalgic for those days back when I was watching Eureka Seven on a weekly basis.

    However, the setting of AO does raise some question in my mind. My memory of E7 is not as good as it used to be, but was there a United States, Japan, China or any real world countries in E7′s setting? If there weren’t then it seems rather improbable that only 15-20 yrs after the end of E7 that the world closely remsemble our world in terms of geopolitics and borders (granted there are some differences). Also was there ever any offical timeline for Eureka Seven? According to the first episode of AO, the year is 2025, but I have no idea when the events of E7 supposedly happened. Finally, also did BONES offically state that this a sequel to the orginal E7.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      There were none of the original land masses. They were completely covered up by the coral. There was never an official time line for E7, only that it occurs “10,000 years in the future”. It’s possible this is another alternate universe, which would be cool, and disappointing at the same time. I’ve seen the sequel on the English sites like ANN, but don’t know if it’s listed else-ware.

      • ZabiLegacy says:

        Please god let it not be an alternate time line/setting. I don;t understand why Bones would be so desperate to escape the amazing setting they created for the first show. Do they think we dislike it?

        • JoeAnimated says:

          I haven’t got the impression yet from the manga that it’s alternate world. I’m just thinking we’re set a fair amount of time in the future from when E7 originally ended.

    • There was this internal world that Renton and Eureka got into after passing the Great Wall, and the land looked exactly like Japan. I don’t know how all of this works out though.

    • SQA says:

      Spoiler warnings!

      [spoiler] At the end of E7 the Scub Coral decided to send some of them off planet, in the hopes of returning like Humanity did. Along with the Nirvash replacing the previous Central Core. Yet at the same time, the Coral was also withdrawing itself. One of the last imagines we saw was about 1/2 of the Earth now uncovered. The underlying land mass was untouched for most of 10k or more years. Which would leave them roughly in the same places as they were, physically. [/spoiler]

      The important thing we need is a shot of the Moon. Once we see that, we’ll get a better idea where this series is sitting. Which also probably means we won’t see it for a while, haha.

  5. foshizzel says:

    I have the same fears Joe! Seriously Fam made season two of last Exile so horrible…I wanted to drop that series so hard, but I kept watching with my brother. As for Eureka I really hope they can give us something fun for this second season.

    Animation was fantastic and I really hope Bones does not drop the ball after the first two or even three episodes of AO, but they have some wonderful “scenery-porn” with the island details and every explosion looked amazing! I can’t wait to see the giant robot part of Eureka though so next week should be a treat for us.

    Ao and Naru together are great! And yeah her design screams FAAAAN SERVICEEEE with those shorts, but she does have a cool pet sloth! Best anime pet ever of this season anyway…So Ao might be Eureka’s son?! That might make things interesting, but part of me wanted them not to go there that fast but oh well what can we do? I guess it might be cool to learn what happened to Eureka and Renton.

    Music was wonderful like you said the music really pushed things along during the serious moments and scenes when things get insane with the explosions! This is one OST I can not wait to get my hands on.

    Lulz Ghost those final comments are always hilarious and lol @Char’s Ahahahahah good job xD

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Next week’s preview was great. We get to see the action kicked up a notch. All the mecha fans will get their robot fan service ;). Yeah, I decided to go there and claim family lineage. Might as well make some assumptions right off the bat. But the bigger question, where is Renton?

      • ZabiLegacy says:

        I really really hope that isn’t Ao piloting the mecha. Or at least maybe it piloting itself. I really enjoyed renton having to actually learn how to pilot before becoming the “the most amazing pilot ever!” unlike most mecha shows.

  6. SQA says:

    The big criticism of the Movie was the lack of Satou Dai being involved, ignoring the story issues in the movie. Well, the series comp here is by someone’s pen name. I’d put solid money it’s Satou back in the saddle for Eureka 7 AO. Mostly as these are definitely his characters, right out of Eureka 7 again. Ao screams episode 45 or so Renton. (And, that’s the “good” Renton that saves the World)

    We’ll know Satou’s here when we get the first discussion of a philosophical concept. Given the fact they just waxed about 1/2 of the island of Okinawa, I imagine we’ll get it in episode 2.

    On the timeline, I think we’re getting some time-travel, but maybe not in the way we think. Though since they’ve already started into the Folk Story aspect (talking about when Eureka would return), this could be set literally 2k years after the first series. It just ends up being Eureka & Renton that can move in time.

    Oh, and someone at another forum pointed out that the imagine of Eureka mimicked the imagine Renton saw of his sister. That opens up a whole lot of possibilities for where our original main pair are now. Maybe there’s a Scub Coral civil war or something, haha.

    One random thing from Eureka 7 that will likely make a reappearance here, as it did in the movie, is the concept of Myth & Legend. This was especially true with the imagery of the Golden Bough, which is pretty much a foundational text in the field of anthropology. But, in Satou showing is wonderfully deep understanding of Western philosophy, also got one little important detail about the book: it’s pretty much deep analysis on Weekly World News stories, of its time. Which was actually a foreshadow of the way the world it was reference was heading. (I.e. the Ageha plan wasn’t what you thought it was, even if it was important) I highly expect we’ll get another subtle discussion on Myth in this go around of the Eureka 7 franchise, as well. Which could be a lot of fun. Satou has gotten better since Eureka 7, so I’m hoping for him going all out on this.

    Oh, and does Naru remind you of a Gidget relative? If she starts taking on some of Moondoggie’s mannerisms, I think we can confirm that lineage. :)

  7. otou-san says:

    I liked the “people on the ground” perspective rather than robots and high-level shit right off the bat, regardless of what Captain Okita Global Jeffy-chan might say. With all the chaos and explosions from a regular person’s perspective, it actually reminded me more of the opening of Xam’d than the original E7. And let’s not forget that while it might have slipped later, that was a monstrous first episode. What caught me here was Ao standing there looking at ruins while missile spam flew everywhere behind him.

    I like that you brought Mao in for the panel this week, good choice. Also LOL Char.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      I think the directing behind the first episode, like the scene you describe, made this a great start. Here’s to a hope they keep it up.

    • ZabiLegacy says:

      That’s the thing about xam’d though. The show had spent the past ten minutes establishing a setting and normal everyday life for the lead. When that happened, it was unexpected and shocking. there had been a whole bunch of unexplained explosions and very little in the way of establishing ruitine in this episode

      • JoeAnimated says:

        But I think that was the point. It’s going to be mad rush for 2 episodes, then bring things down and start building up the rest of show.

        • ZabiLegacy says:

          Intensity is kind of pointless without lulls in action though. You know the problem with all the insane set pieces in call of duty campaigns? there are no quiet reflective moments. In general, if we see lots of intense moments like we did this episode, and few quite moments, then human beings will accept intensity as the norm, and then it looses all effect.

          the earlier explosions, and lack of any quiet scenes made no sense here. remember the bus explosion in xam’d? How much worse would it have been, if he hadn’t been riding it and talking with friends for the last ten minutes. It felt like a shocking twist rather then par for course. the show began with lots of drama and explosions and just sort of kept doing it.

  8. ZabiLegacy says:

    That’s the thing about this show. By the end of the first episode, I could tell you quite a bit about the cast members. We knew Holland was a counter culture icon who got involved in situations above his pay grade, and was being chased by the military. We knew eureka was a mysterious and often emotionless girl, who knew very little of human life, and seemed to have a connection to things beyond renton’s understanding. Gamps was shown as a stern man who cared deeply for renton, but was harboring some deep resentment about what his farther had done, and seemed to know more about what was going on then met the eye. Renton was shown as a deeply out of place individual forever traped in the shadow of his father, and dreaming of a life in the clouds.

    In this we seemed to get quite a feel for character relationships, but everything moved to fast for me to get a hang on anybody here. I kind of grasp some minor details, but the much faster pacing mixed with a distinct lack of exposition made everything hard to follow.

    This is especially weird in comparison to E7, which gave a perfectly fine job establishing the setting, the technology of the world, the culture, recent history, govermental type, technology, and a host of other aspects. This is just sort of a hot mess, with some aspects being able to be guessed by it’s connection to the former, and a few aspects being able to be grasped from dialogue from characters who haven’t been properly introduced.

    All of this happened in the first episode of E7 and plenty of action and excitement. In terms of quality of setting things up, E7 was textbook perfection. this is just strange and confusing. I remain hopeful about this show, but it doesn’t seem to make sense. and judging from the next episode preview, there is going to be mecha fights. I realty hope that this show doesn’t go the “Instantly knows how to pilot” route. One of the most refreshing aspects of the original was just how much time and effort it put into making developments believable, such as renton sucking at piloting for a good ten episodes.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      I think the reason everything is a little more rushed is that because:
      -The general world has already been established through E7
      -They want to keep you off base and wondering what is going on. Hit you with some action first before lulling down

      • ZabiLegacy says:

        No it hasn’t. Within the first five minutes of the show they are talking about Okinawa, the Japanese army, Some organization thing. Why is Scub coral there? what do people know about it? since when are there countries? Maybe it’s the same world, but I don’t know anything about how it’s changed in the unspecified number of years since E7, especially because the ending of E7 likely changed society in a number of ways. Or what about the island? I may have the tiniest fraction of an idea as to what the overall world is like, but nothing is told to me about the island where they live? Are there big cities there? Is it a quiet town? Are they important at all to this new global political system?

        Or what about the cast? How much has been characterized about the members of the outlaw squad? Or about Ao? I know he’s a foreigner and gets mistreated, but I don’t understand him at all. does he have other friends? Does he know where he comes from. I don’t want to know any of the inner workings of the show right now. Mysteries are mysteries for a reason. I just want some beginning exposition.

        For instance, how much better would the episode have been if there was an internal monolouge like Renton had. There were plenty of shots were nothing was happening, that didn’t quite set the scene, nor do anything but be atmospheric. why couldn’t he have been talking as it was going to the audience, explaining who he was, where he lived, how he felt about it. Who this girl was, how he knew her, how he felt about her. Maybe throw in some foreshadowing, a teasing reference to the greater setting. the visual storytelling was superb here, was one would expect from the team. the way the expressions helped tell the story? Masterful! But new composition guy is doing a very bad job. There is little to no exposition, and I find what dialogue there has been boring. remember the first scene of Eureka Seven? I bet you do. Stoner philosophizing as Mathew piloted. It set the tone and the level of ambition for the rest of the series. What about the first scene in AO? There were alot of Arc words, and some interesting visuals. E7 seemed ambitious and epic. this? Just trite and average.

        Also yes, I know alot of people have been giving the excuse that EVA’s beginning was similarly exposition free, and still amazing. But, EVA’s beginning had much more going on beneath the hood. For one thing, EVA began en medias res. They threw you right in the middle of the action, and implied alot of the rest through the goings on. And ironically enough, despite it being intense, there were plenty of quiet moments to help re-contextualize. Remember how little of Angel was actually shown in that first episode? It certainly appeared much less then you remember. Another thing worth mentioning is the exposition. There was admittedly, very little new pieces of information established in the first episode. But, consider how much of that information was begging more questions. for a show that thrived on mystery so much, it made awfully sure not introduce very much in the first episode it wasn’t willing to explain. Another factor was that it only introduced five major cast members. All of them were given ample time within the episode to establish their personalities. Even things like say AT fields, were introduced, and then immediately demonstrated how they functionally worked. that way when others would refer to them in the future it would make sense.

        In short, it would have been easy to fix the writing in this episode. Very little needed to be put without explanation. It would not have been hard at all to really get me involved. but it didn’t do anything a first episode is supposed to do. I found my most anticipated show of the season perilously close to being dropped one episode in. let’s hope episode 2 is better written.

        • JoeAnimated says:

          What you’re looking for in this episode is for every detail to be laid out for you. This isn’t that episode. There was clear intent here to through you right into the middle of what’s going on. There was no detail, no inner monologue, nothing because that is the the way it was written. They want the viewer to be thrown in with little knowledge of the characters. Why? I don’t know. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it wrong. I think it’s funny how your finish your comment with “very little need to be put”, but in the previous hundred words all you’re doing is requesting more.

          The world hasn’t been established? Then how do the cars fly? Why do you know what Scub Coral is? Why does the girl in the flashback remind you of Eureka? Why do the devices in the briefcase look like Amita drives? There are just enough similarities to provide familiarity, but with plenty of changes to establish a whole new story.

          I like the uncertainty of the world, plot, and characters. I want to see where things are going. I know why you’re frustrated, but you’re getting ahead of yourself. It’s going to take 3 episodes to work this out, which may be too long, but that’s what it’s looking like.

          • ZabiLegacy says:

            Yes, there are carry over details from the first show. With them I can kind of make out a few things that are happening. I am not saying they don’t exist. Merely that they are not sufficient to serve the story currently being told. one of the transferring details from the first show make up for the failure to characterize the cast members. Those are the kind of things that exposition helps do too. This show can;t assume I am familiar to this setting just because I watched the first one, because while some of the very base elements are similar, the rest is not. And no, I don’t need to know everything. I can handle a few mysteries. Do I need to know what “the secret” is? no. Do I need to know why the world is suddenly diffident? I’d like it, but no. What I do need to know, is why did this character react the way he did to certain situation.

            Also the very little need thing was a typing mistake. I apologize. My intended meaning of that statement would be “Very little would be needed to be added in to bring the writing up to snuff.” By that I mean, an inner monolouge would have provided some basis for the character and some pretty basic rules for what is considered normal and not normal.

            And no, I am not mad because this is not the type of episode I want it to be. I am mad because it is not the kind of episode it wants itself to be. If this was supposed to be a dramatic starting in the middle of the action, and sorting out details later, then why did the action only start at the very end of the episode? The first half of the episode was almost all dialogue and slow scenes. the scub coral explosion at the middle was dramatic, but not tense. the episode didn’t actually have anything happen till the angel-like thing showed. You are allowed to be skip all the exposition stuff and throw it in later, if you mean to have too much going for something like that.

            The first 7:30 seconds was almost all dialogue, that featured lots of arc words and no exposition. Minutes 12 to 17:30 featured nothing going on, besides people talking. Why did no one put any exposition there? If this were a “shut up and do something episode” then the action and the inaction likely would have switched locations. Furthermore, there is no excuse for not throwing in enough exposition between those scenes. If we looks at things that do start explosively and calm down to tell you stuff later, such as Gundam 00 and Neon Genesis, we find that in scenes when nothing is happening, they are explaining what things are to me. What is an EVA, what does shinji think of his father, what does an AT field do. Or in Gundam’s case what are the towers, why is there a need for conflict intervention, Why there is reason to be concerned about these new mobile suits.

            I didn’t want them to tell me why celestial bieng wanted to end war, or why the angels were attacking, because those were not the bare minimum to make this episode work.

            In short. there is something to the statement that I am just frustrated because I love E7 so much. But, if you want to attach the name to it, it has to be up to snuff.

            For an explanation as to one of the reasons I dislike the intro so much, try this: http://extra-credits.net/episodes/skyrims-opening/

          • ZabiLegacy says:

            Specifically the part in the video where they discuss exposition terms…..Honesty I just sorta like the video >.<

          • JoeAnimated says:

            You and I are going to have fun this season. I look forward to it.

  9. Xard says:

    This series pisses me off and I haven’t even watched it. Basically just because this means I must finally start watching from the beginning Eureka Seven which I dropped years ago midway through or so because I found it excrutiatingly boring.

    But now with second gig here the title has jumped to top of the list of series’s to check again for reconsideration *sigh*

    as if I didn’t have enough animes to follow as it is, gahhhhhh

    • Xard says:

      oh and reason I wrote this post is that as biggest Eureka Seven fan I know I was hoping you might have some insightful tips and such ready for the journey ;)

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